Postmen in the Mountains (1999, China)

Starring: Rujun Ten, Ye Liu, Hao Chen
Director: Jianqi Huo
Genre: Drama
Language: Mandarin
My Rating: 4/5

“Father has been a postman all his life. His job is to deliver mail to the remote mountain areas of Hunan, China by foot. He is in his late 40s. But now, poor health is forcing him to retire. He cannot trust anyone else but his son to take over the job. The morning comes that Son is ready for his first trip as a postman. It’s going to be a 3-day trip., 122 kilometers, as it always is. Father cannot rest easy, ans insists that he will come along, knowing the importance of his job, and not quite able to give it up..

This is Son’s first trip and Father’s last. They have never taken a trip together. The mountain paths are so familiar under Father’s feet. However, walking them with his son makes him feel strange. He has so much to say to him, but what comes out of his mouth is only about the job. And Son doesn’t even know how to address his own father properly. The word “father” sounds so awkward to pronounce to him.

The trip is not as easy as Son thought it would be. Walking in the endless, nearly deserted zigzag paths through the mountains, Son realizes how much Father has contributed to his work and the people who depend on him to get messages to and from the outside world, and how much Mother has given up to support the family. Father, in his eyes, is no longer as tall abd distant as he remembers from his childhood. He’s thin and common.

When they finally get to a creek for a short cut, Son insists that Father should never touch cold water again. He wades across the creek with his father on his shoulders. The distance between Father and Son evaoprates. For Father, it reminds him of how he used to carry Son at a time that doesn’t seem so long ago. At that moment, he knows he’s getting old…

This entry was published on July 21, 2012 at 12:33 am and is filed under 1999, 4/5 Great, China, Drama. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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